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   Do we ever make excuses for not doing what we know is the right thing to do? Maybe an opportunity arises which would bring glory to the Father by helping others, but instead of doing it we walk away and do something else for ourselves. There are a lot of “reasons” one can come up with which will hinder our own growth and the benefit of others. Take, for example, the few examples below:
      • “O my Sovereign, I am not eloquent … but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue … Who am I that I should go … behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken to my voice …” (Exod. 4:10, 3:11, 4:1)
      • “Ah, Sovereign Yahweh! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (Jer. 1:6)
      • “… behold, my family is poor … and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judg. 6:15)
      • “… suffer me first to go and bury my father” (Luke 9:60)
      • “… but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house” (Luke 9:61)
      • “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray Thee have me excused” (Luke 14:18)
      • “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused” (Luke 14:19)
      • “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come” (Luke 14:20)
   Possibly, the only thing worse than protesting one’s ineptness or unavailability to Him Who calls, chooses, and ordains him to ministry, is to take the part of Jonah who, when once he had been dispatched to Nineveh instead, booked passage on a ship going to Tarshish thinking he could flee from the presence of Yahweh (Jon. 1:1-3).
   But lo, he was about to learn that,
      • neither ascension into heaven;
      • nor making his bed in sheol;
      • neither taking the wings of the morning and dwelling in the uttermost parts of the sea;

As a Wonder unto Many
   Yeah, you just try resisting His will and you’ll get yourself one WHALE of a time, too!
   Have you noticed in your own life, that whenever you’ve resisted His will, you haven’t at all eluded His will and that the only thing you’ve accomplished, were two things: (1) It was hard for you to have kicked against the pricks, and (2) Just maybe, obedience might have been easier learned than through suffering!
We should have learned by now, that these words, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10) constitute the most effectual, according-to-His-will prayer.
   There’s something else we should have learned by now, too. His gifts and callings are without Repentance; where He guides, He provides; and He seldom calls the qualified but instead, qualifies the called that no flesh should glory in His presence.
   So, He takes what you have – the tongue in your mouth, and He teaches you Words to say.
   He takes what you have – the rod in your outstretched hand, and empowers you to change water into blood and afterward, to divide the waters that you may cross over.
   He takes what you have – the jawbone of a donkey, and enables that what’s in your hand can slay 1,000 Philistines.
   He takes what you have – only 300 men armed with a trumpet and a lantern in empty vessels and a shout, to rout an entire Philistine army.
   He takes what you have – the sword in your hand, so you may discover that in the doing of mighty exploits, there is none other sword like that.
   He takes what you have – six waterpots of stone, intended for ritual purification, each containing two or three firkins (perhaps from 9, to as much as 13 gallons each) and changes them to wine.
   He takes what you have – but five loaves and two fishes, and multiplies them to feed multitudes and afterward, to collect more leftovers than what you had in the beginning.
   He takes what you have – but an empty fishing net and a toilsome night, and fills it with enough fish to very nearly break your nets and sink your craft.
   He takes what you have – as you are, blind and deaf, and makes it so you can both see and hear.
   He takes what you have – your present: a sinner, unrighteous, and without strength, and makes it to become your past … forgiven, and remembered no more.
   He takes what you have – a shield of faith with which to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one, and makes you more than a conqueror.
   He takes what you have – the Promise of His Son … His purpose for having left, to prepare room for you, that where He is, you shall be also.
   He takes what you have – but the Blood of His Lamb and the Word of your Testimony and awards you with an inheritance that is holy and separate from sinners, incorruptible and undefiled, eternal and reserved in Heaven.
   Yeah, He takes what you have – feet stuck in miry clay, but set upon the Rock That cannot be moved!
   Bottom Line: When All You Have Is Yahweh, You Have Enough! It doesn’t get any better than that!

No Discharge from Serving Him
   Yes, you and I – in the eye of the world, foolish, weak, base, a thing which is nought and a gazingstock despised as the filth and offscouring of the world, He has taken to confound the wise, mighty, and noble and all to this end, that they should marvel of you as they did of Him, saying,
      • “It was never so seen” (Matt. 9:33);
      • “We never saw it on this fashion” (Mark 2:12);
      • “We have seen strange things today” (Luke 5:26);
      • “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46)
      • “What shall we do? … for indeed that a notable miracle hath been done … and we cannot deny it.” (Acts 4:16)

   so that before Yahweh and His Son, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess Yahshua the Messiah, to the glory of Yahweh the Father.
   Yet, in spite of all the foregoing evidence, we’ll try to wiggle out from under His calling, choosing, and ordaining us to fulfill His will and to make of us something exceeding and abundant, above all that we could think or ask.
   And then, we wonder why we’re always in the middle of this contest of the Spirit lusting against the flesh, and the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the flesh prevailing over the Spirit.
   We wonder why, we are so easily distracted, drawn away, tempted, enticed, beset, overcome and brought into bondage to do service to the devil instead of to Yahweh;
   We wonder why, it seems we always default to transgressing His Commandment – the good we would, we do not; the thing we would not, we do.
   We wonder why, our faith seems always to come far short of that victory that overcomes the pull of the world.
   We wonder why, if Yahweh be for us, saying, He will never fail, leave, or forsake us, that we are visited with tribulation, infirmity, necessity, distress, persecution, reproach, famine, nakedness, no certain dwelling place, maybe, even the sword.
   Could it possibly be, because we have, like Jonah, taken passage to Tarshish and prefer to ourselves one whale of a time?
   We like to read passages of Scripture, like “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith Yahweh, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 and exclaim, “That’s Me” but then we disqualify ourselves, through depriving ourselves of the very thing that gives us that expected end – being zealously affected and fervent in spirit, yielding ourselves to Him.
   But have you ever asked your Sovereign Master the question He asked two blind men sitting by the way side, “What will Ye that I shall do?” (Matt. 20:29-32)
   Maybe, you’re one of the two blind men sitting by the way side, and needing to ask Him, “What will Ye that I shall do?” (Matt. 20:32)
   Maybe instead, you’re neglecting the Gift that is in you, given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
   So what if you’re that house, swept of the unclean spirit and now garnished, but as it were, unoccupied … and making it so, that the unclean walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none and so returns finding your house, clean and decorated but quite empty and so takes up residence again with a multitude more wicked than he.
   Ever wonder to yourself, why it is, seeing He said, “the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12) that you’re still waiting, to see the works that He did, and even greater works?
   Or are you become like the scoffer, saying, “Where’s the power?” “Where’s the promise of His coming?”
   Ever think to yourself, this is it? there’s nothing more to this life, to that life more abundantly?
   Ever think to yourself, you’re getting as much interest out of this abundant life as you’re investing into in?
   Ever think, it might just be you, and not He? That you’ve barred the door, and become both blind and deaf so you can’t see Him stand at the door and hear Him knocking?
   Ever think to yourself, that you’ve gone lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, become a candidate for becoming spewed out of His mouth?
   Ever think to yourself, that you’re that every tree about whom the Master was speaking, you know, that tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, the tare, the branch needing to be hewn down and cast into the fire?

   These are reasons we should have cause to examine, prove, and know ourselves, whether we are even in the faith.
   These are reasons we should give diligence to make our calling and election sure “for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Rom. 13:11).

-Elder John W. Reece

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